Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Free Books

I have told you about the shelf of free books in the coffee shop of the university library, haven't I? I picked up a couple of mass market paperbacks today. I have no idea who is discarding them. They don't seem like former library material, at least these particular volumes don't. One is a novelization (in pristine condition, I might add) of the Peter Sellers film I LOVE YOU, ALICE B. TOKLAS! (Exclamation point theirs.) Though I didn't name it at the time, that's the one I was trying to watch so I could further our discussion of repressive desublimation. Remember? I had to turn it off after five minutes, as you may recall. But I'm sure the novelization is fantastic! Here's some of what it says on the back cover: "Harold was - like - blocked, a square. He was a $40,000-a-year LA lawyer and he was set up with a nice, dull type named Joyce. Then this groovy free spirit named Nancy comes to his pad. She's so beautiful and so cool, like a wild vision... So Nancy bakes him some way out fudge brownies filled with love... And Harold freaks out! ... He and Nancy hold the grooviest love-in ever staged - a non-stop multi-colored trip to the Moon!" (Cap theirs.) The other free book I found today ALSO has an exclamation point in the title, sort of, though it appears only on the cover and the spine - not the title page, sadly, so it doesn't count, not really. You recall that I like it when old paperbacks have a lot of promotional copy on the front cover. Well, this one allows the title to emerge from the description of the book, like so: "'I didn't come here to study anthropology,' the girl whispered huskily to the young college professor. 'Just... TEACH ME TO LOVE!' A pipe in his mouth - a book under his arm - hate in his heart for being overworked, underpaid and under-loved... He was a menace to every girl on campus!" Yeah, so that's just the front cover. Turn to the back: "Here is a novel for every parent with a child at college - a novel for every adult fooled by the tree-lined campus and the book-lined library." So I thought that was a pretty funny free book to find at the library. I can't stop typing: "As Peter Waring said bitterly after his wealthy wife walked out on him, 'Maybe I'm a college teacher - but damn it all, I'm also a man! I want to live like a man... love like a man...'" Free books! (Pictured, Harold freaking out.)